The coronavirus outbreak has demanded a redirection of resources. Many NGOs and civil society organisations around the world have been fundamental to ensure the protection of people, communities, environment and culture. “On World NGO Day, we pay tribute to their engagement, the impact of which should not be underestimated or taken for granted” stated EU High Representative Josep Borrell.
On 15 January 2021, the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe co-hosted a hybrid roundtable event on soft law in the 21st century, in cooperation with the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to the Council of Europe. The event consisted of two panel discussions focusing respectively on the concept of soft law and the opportunities and challenges arising from soft law against the background of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The coronavirus pandemic has magnified and exacerbated some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in relation to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We therefore welcome that the 46th session of the Human Rights Council will take place, albeit in a virtual format, from 22 February to 23 March.
The EU and the Council of Europe have joined forces in the fight against hate speech with a recent social media campaign aimed at promoting tolerance, diversity and understanding in the Western Balkans within the framework of the joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II. In line with its thematic priorities, the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is also organising a high-level digital conference ‘Unboxing Hate Speech’ on Thursday 18 February 2021.